I’ve had a Facebook account for a while. I didn’t want to get one originally. It was a school assignment. No, really. It was supposed to help me keep up with my classmates while I got my MLS degree. They seemed to think I wanted to keep up with my classmates. I did not. Most of them were okay people, but in general, people just tend to annoy me. They were no exception.
There was one well-intentioned student who took great joy in announcing everyone’s birthdays. We were then obligated to all say “Happy Birthday” to this person. Thirty times. There’s only so many ways you can say “Happy Birthday” so it gets old after a while. Since the degree took two years, she did this twice. The second time she had to wish happy birthday to herself, because no one else bothered to do it but her.
So I had this account, and eventually I gathered new “friends”. In case you’ve been under a rock, and don’t know about Facebook (can you make room for me under there?) Facebook friends are not the same as real friends. Oh, they can be just as annoying, yes, but you don’t have to ever see or even really know these friends. Your “friend” could be the friend of a cousin of a friend of your ex-boyfriend. But hey – you can boast that you have a lot of friends!
The way you make friends is by sending out a “friend request”. I remember making friend requests. This was in elementary school. I wasn’t a big fan of elementary school, and it wasn’t a big fan of me. So the idea of asking someone I barely knew to “friend” me (by the way, friend still is not a verb) seemed very second grade. But of course I did it, because everyone else did it, so maybe Facebook is more like junior high instead.
Anyway, as time went by I found other people I had random things in common with, and I joined a couple of “private groups” defined as groups where only invited people, and Mark Zuckerberg and his buds, are allowed to read. Then a funny thing happened. One private group branched out into another private group whose purpose seemed to be to talk about the first group. Attention: You have now officially entered a high school clique. The acne will sprout anytime now.
People in the first secret group got rather angry at the new double dog secret group. It was a huge trainwreck, and naturally I read the entire exchange in between glances at Cosmo magazine. While momentarily entertaining, I figured this might be a signal that I really didn’t need Facebook anymore. Another signal was when I decided to “hide” someone’s status (Status def: When people voice their ill-informed and stupid opinions and make you wonder why you ever liked said person.) Facebook helpfully offered to let me hide the statuses of all friends I didn’t interact with – and this turned out to be almost every single one of them. Huh.
So I took “the plunge” and deactivated my account. But Facebook is like Hotel California – you can check out any time you like, but Mark is going to keep all your information for all eternity and try to trick you into coming back bwahahahaha. First, he will show you sad puppy faces of the “friends” who will surely miss you if you leave. Tough. Then it will leave your account open for a few weeks, in case you change your mind, or accidentally click on something that leads you back to Facebook. You’ll never guess what I did. Yeah, Superbetter is in league with Facebook. It’s a conspiracy.
Anyway, I was still pretty happy that I had mostly abandoned at least one form of social media addiction. I’m not patting myself on the back too hard, though, because hello, I’m blogging. Some like to call it trading one addiction for another. Also, while I was informed by one article in Psychology Today that the more Facebook friends you have, the bigger loser you are, another article by the illustrious Huffpo told me that if I got rid of my Facebook account I was a hipster douchebag.
In essence, the Huffpo article says that quitting Facebook is the “in” thing and only done by those annoying people who also quit watching television and eating meat and bathing and act like they are now somehow superior to you for living closer to nature and whatnot. Honestly, I don’t care about these people as long as they don’t say they are the specialist snowflakes ever and I’m squat. Am I a hipster because I think Facebook is a waste of time and stupid unless there’s a major trainwreck going on and then it’s kind of funny but I feel like a jerk later for enjoying it? Am I a douchebag because I don’t spend time relentlessly planting pretend crops and posting about my bowel movements?
What do you think? Do you have facebook? Do you want to get rid of it or do you like it? Are you a loser or a douchebag? Which is better? Would you like to go “poke” Mark Zuckerberg for real with something sharp? Let me know in the comments below.